MCCALL, Idaho — Many of us enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics on KTVB. Now, you might just be itching to try a winter sport, Well, if the games didn't motivate you, this local kid will.
13-year-old Bowen Toomey of Eagle has taken up snowboarding, and he's inspiring all who see him!
Toomey was born without arms and legs in Serbia and lived in an orphanage until his American parents spotted him on the internet. His mom, Devon Toomey, saw his photo and knew he was meant to be theirs. The Toomeys traveled to the orphanage and brought him home to America.
We have featured this Eagle boy's incredible story before. His hard work and dedication to doing all the things other kids are doing have inspired people worldwide. He may have been born without limbs, but he was also born without limits. He has been featured on national television on shows like the Today Show, and even in People Magazine.
Now, Bowen is 13-years-old and he's taking on something new in the Idaho mountains. Snowboarding!
"I wanted to try a new challenging sport that I've never done before or experienced before," Bowen Toomey told KTVB.
This is all possible through Adaptive Wilderness Sports of McCall, also known as AWESOME. The non-profit gives people with disabilities the chance to ski and snowboard at Brundage Mountain Resort, and take part in other wilderness sports and adventures all year.
"I think it's very important to give everyone a chance to be a part of all the sports," said Andy Guest, Bowen's AWESOME snowboarding instructor.
Andy Guest is one of Bowen's instructors. He wants all kids with different abilities to be able to take part in everything the great Idaho outdoors has to offer. They adapt skis and boards to make that happen!
"He's doing very well, today we are working on a second lesson on a snowboard," said Guest. "I'm very impressed with his skills. This is his second day and he's making some turns on the hill, and just his desire to learn and go for it, is pretty impressive to me. Pick him up and strap him to a board and he loves it. He'll go for it, and I think that's pretty great."
Bowen is taking to snowboarding just like everything else in his life, with determination and his "can do" attitude.
"It's been going good so far, it's been spectacular, " Bowen said. "It feels fantastic out there on the runs!"
Bowen loves the instructors with AWESOME, and they are so inspired by him. They say it's hard not to be inspired by this kid with so much grit and joy all rolled into one.
"I am for sure," said Guest. "I know when we got off the chair, there were several people who said they were just so inspired by him."
Bowen is all about learning new things and being able to do them independently. He told us he recommends snowboarding to other kids with disabilities, he says all you have to have is the willingness to give it a try.
He has fallen in love with this sport, and he says he'll keep learning. He now has some new dreams to go after. Olympic dreams.
"I can do it more times, and hopefully be in the Olympics later on," said Toomey.
We may just see Bowen at the Paralympic games one day! But, right now, we'll just have to settle for seeing him shredding on our local ski hills! He is fearless.
For more on AWESOME adaptive sports in McCall, check out their website.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a lesson.
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